This post was originally published on 3 December 2014.
Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health (SCH) has launched a unified electronic system for sick leave certificates to address frequent complaints about doctors issuing fake medical certificates.
The electronic system will eventually replace the manual system of issuing sick leave certificates mostly used by private clinics and hospitals, a senior SCH official said yesterday.
The SCH launched a one-month pilot phase of the Central Governmental Electronic Sick Leave System (E-Jaza) on Sunday. The new system will be first implemented in the private sector. During the pilot phase, the electronic system will be used alongside the manual system.
However, from December 30, it will be mandatory for all private doctors to issue sick leave certificates through the E-Jaza system, according to a circular issued by Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners (QCHP) at SCH.
“The idea behind the electronic system is to unify and standardise sick leave certificates in the country and eliminate fake certificates. There have been numerous complaints from employers about the misuse of sick leave by their staff through fraudulent medical certificates issued by some doctors,” the acting CEO of QCHP, Dr Jamal Rashid Al Khanji, told this daily yesterday.
Recently, the Supreme Education Council issued a directive to all Independent schools to stop accepting sick leave certificates issued by private doctors and facilities to their staff.
“Currently there is no uniform system for issuing sick leave certificates. An integrated electronic system will help us gather accurate data about sick leave certificates issued in the country for different types of diseases. This data is crucial while investigating complaints because we will be able to identify doctors who issue higher number certificates as well as patients who avail of sick leaves more frequently,” said Al Khanji.
He said it was easier for doctors and patients to misuse the current manual system. For instance, a patient may approach different doctors seeking a sick leave certificate and the doctor who eventually issues the certificate may not be aware of that.
“By entering personal details of the patient in the new electronic system, the doctor will be able to know if the patient had applied for a certificate earlier and was issued one,” said Al Khanji.
- With the launch of E-Jaza, all doctors will be required to use SCH’s Electronic Registration and Licensing System to issue sick leave certificates.
- The electronic system contains criteria for issuing such certificates.
- No doctor will be able to issue a certificate for a disease that does not come under the scope of his practice.
- The system will also identify diseases and conditions that necessitate sick leave
- Once the system is fully implemented, patients and their employers will be able to receive certificates through email.
Excerpts from: The Peninsula